Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cooking, Laurenaissance

When A Diagnosis Gives You Back Your Life

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Five days ago I started an elimination diet for thyroid dysfunction after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.  The photo on the left (where I look like a serial killer) was taken on Sunday (day 1). The photo on the right was taken this afternoon (day 5).  Neither photo has a filter, and the only makeup I am wearing in today’s photo is lipstick.  Even I can tell that the difference is fairly amazing.

So what causes the difference?  A diet that has no sugar, no dairy, no grain, no fruit, a considerable less amount of vegetables that I am used to eating, way more protein than I want to eat – which forces me to drink twice the amount of water than normal.

This is what has happened to me in the last 5 days:

  • I had a really rough start – I woke up having a panic attack in the middle of the night, and ended up in the emergency room.  I can’t 100% be sure that it is diet related (considering it happened on the first day), but eating animals is not natural for me – so it might be related. A little valium and some rest, and I am fine.
  • My skin is a lot clearer, and brighter.
  • My eyes are clear.
  • I am hungry all the time. I am obsessed with food now. If I am not eating or cooking, then I am counting down the minutes until I can be eating or cooking. I hope this passes soon – I am so tired of looking at photos of food on pinterest and instagram.
  • I have lost 7lbs in 5 days (without trying).
  • I walk faster
  • For the very first time since I have been living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I don’t have huge dark circles under my eyes.
  • I don’t crave salt! Seriously for 20 years I have basically wanted to have a salt lick installed in every room in my apartment. NO MORE!
  • I am still exhausted but its a different kind. Its the kind that is caused by over scheduling ones self.  I understand its early days still – but I am hopeful.
  • Today, I feel pretty.  And I can’t tell you the last time I was able to say that.
  • I smile

I feel a little like I am getting my life back.  I have a long way to go, but I am definitely healing. And a healing journey makes me happy.

One final lesson that I learned  – a single cinnamon red heart is enough to cause a headache for an entire night. So now we know, sugar really is detrimental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, travel

Jetlag: A Variant of Depression

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I have been home for 4 days now, and I feel awful. Each day is worse than the last. What I am experiencing is not so much jet lag per se, but more like some combination of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome + Depression.  I sleep at weird hours, and when I am awake I am basically a zombie. I can’t stand sunlight right now, so I have been wearing sunglasses inside, for the entire 40 minutes of sunshine we have had since I got back.  My lessons yesterday were unfocused and scattered. Could it be that I am just missing Europe?  Yes, that is definitely part of it.  But I am not even interested in doing things that I missed when I was over there. Walking the trails – no interest. Reading books – no interest.  Talking to my friends – can barely stay awake. Seeing friends for tonight’s Super Bowl – no thank you. What do I want to do?  Sleep, eat artichoke hearts right out of the jar, drink lemonade, and watch back to back episodes of Doctor Who and Rita on netflix.

I have never really suffered from jet lag before – and so this is my first real experience with it. Usually I don’t give myself time to recover. And this trip, I gave myself 4 days of rest before heading back to work. This could very well be my problem. I feel like a loser complaining – such a privileged white girl going on and on about her recovery time after a trip to Europe. But there you have it. I’m a mess right now – and I don’t see it improving anytime soon. Despite the fact that I am totally inspired and ready to embrace some change. I just can’t seem to get out of bed, or dressed, or ready to face the day.

For now, I am just going to let the pile of bricks that have fallen on top of me win this round.

 

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, intovertism

We Need Winter

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Living on the West Coast, we are often spoiled. We have mild weather all year round (mostly). Yes it rains a bit – but we are rewarded with loveliness just about everywhere. This winter, we have gotten a bit of snow.  Not a ton of it -but definitely more than normal. Most of the people I know are ready for spring.  Not me!  I’m loving the snow – and here is why:

When spring comes, people tend to be more social, there are more events, the weather is better, we go outside and talk to our neighbours, go to the beach, and barbecues, and block parties.  I like those things too – but Im happy to go to one event per season, not every weekend.  I prefer to be alone.  I need the rest. Just having a regular day exhausts me. Spending time with others does me in for about 2 weeks.

I think nature is feeling the same way. It needs a rest.  Its exhausting being pretty and social all the time.  Let the world recuperate for a bit.  Stay home, build a snowman in your backyard, go ski if you love to be outdoors in this weather. There is much to do. There’s lots of time to get everything done that you need to do. Summer will be here eventually.

Let the world gets some rest. Hibernate just a little bit longer.

 

 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Salty Dog

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Puppy dog tails @ Kamamarui Ramen & Don

I crave massive amounts of salt when I can’t sleep. Which makes ramen pretty much the greatest meal I can ever eat. But because of these coat hooks, I make sure I only eat vegetable ramen. Because I think those hooks are telling me that the meat that is used is mysterious.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

How to Get Well – By a Doctor Mom

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If you have ever read any of my writings about living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or are currently a friend of mine living with CFS)- you will know that my mother doles out wellness advice. She is not a Doctor -but she has that kind of diagnostic confidence that doctors have when she is dealing with her children. She is often wrong -especially when broken bones are involved. But when dealing with CFS and me/ME (pun!) she is right on the money.

There are 3 things that she does really well:

  1. She makes a magic soup that will make just about any sick person feel human again.
  2.  She makes a mean cup of tea
  3. She has created some rules for wellness that actually work – and she doesn’t exactly give you a timeline to do them, though they should probably all be done close to each other.

These wellness rules are simple – and created for a person who has zero energy – and isn’t capable of doing complicated tasks because the exhaustion has made life unbearable for the moment.

The rules for wellness by my Doctor Mom are:

  1. Drink water – a lot of it. 2 glasses immediately (as in right now).
  2. Eat an egg.
  3. Go walk around the block -I don’t care if it takes you 5 minutes or 3 hours.

I’ve been having a rough time of it. This not sleeping thing has screwed me up hugely. In fact, I am quite impressed with myself that I can type this out – because I have been having a hard time understanding english these days.  But today, I couldn’t take it any more.  I was in bed until noon – hurting and exhausted. I had to force myself to get up – get dressed, and go for breakfast. I walked to a diner – 2 blocks away – ordered eggs and bacon (I gave my bacon away to strangers), and then managed to walk about 2 miles. Yay!  There was a time, that I couldn’t even do that. So lets take that as a win.

So now its almost 4pm, and I am laying in bed, fully dressed – with the covers on. Hoping that I have tired myself out enough that I will sleep tonight.  But knowing that I shouldn’t  be here (in this bed) just in case I accidentally fall asleep, and do more harm to myself.

So I’m getting up now.

Thanks mom for your rules. I feel like I accomplished something, even if that was only eating a proper breakfast.

*photo source Daniel Novta via flickr

 

 

 

 

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